Trump urges death penalty for drug dealers

U.S. President Donald Trump talks with reporters during a meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday. Trump raised the issue of using the death penalty for drug dealers at a rally in Pennsylvania earlier this month

U.S. President Donald Trump talks with reporters during a meeting in the Oval Office on Thursday. Trump raised the issue of using the death penalty for drug dealers at a rally in Pennsylvania earlier this month

In Manchester, New Hampshire, Trump said the federal government "would not rest" until the scourge of drug addiction is stopped, and said the toughness needed in the battle against drug traffickers should involve the death penalty.

President Trump unveiled his plan to combat the nation's deadly opioid addiction in a speech Monday in Manchester, New Hampshire, a state ravaged by the drug.

Mr. Trump's plan will likely spark pushback from Democratic lawmakers and public health professionals who say harsher penalties would invoke a failed "war on drugs" from decades past and stigmatize people in the grips of addiction.

The president also discussed how his policies, including a U.S. -Mexico border wall and punishing "sanctuary" cities that refuse to comply with federal immigration authorities, would help reduce the flow of drugs and help end the addiction epidemic.

The president singled out Lawrence, Massachusetts, as the source of New Hampshire's drug problems multiple times during his speech.

The New York businessman campaigned in New Hampshire the night before the 2016 presidential election, but Trump narrowly lost the state on Election Day, with Hillary Clinton beating him by fewer than 3,000 votes.

This is a breaking news and developing story.

While the administration's plan to combat opioids include more benign proposals such as reducing over-prescriptions, funding television advertisements, developing non-addictive painkillers and reducing drugs illegally shipped to the USA, the president's call for the death penalty has garnered the most attention and controversy. He was flanked by members of law enforcement and at one point allowed the parents of a man who died of an overdose to speak onstage about their son, who became addicted to drugs after taking a prescription opioid and later died of an overdose.

New Hampshire has been one of the states hardest hit by the opioid crisis, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The White House did not offer any specific examples of when it would be appropriate to seek the death penalty for drug dealers and referred further questions to the Justice Department.

Other parts of the plan include broadening education and awareness, and expanding access to proven treatment and recovery efforts.

Trump has vowed since his 2016 campaign to curb drug abuse, which caused more than 64,000 overdose deaths a year ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, in November, the White House opioid commission also released a strong plan, most of which hasn't been acted on yet, and it is critical that we see actual follow-through on this proposal.

But it needs to be targeted to those who are most at risk and least responsive to current treatments, such as people of color, women with children and "anybody who is not 42, white and male", she said.

The administration was criticized for not doing enough after declaring a public health emergency five months ago.

"My Department of Justice will be seeking so many, much tougher penalties than we've ever had". Opioids includes illegal drugs such as heroin or fentanyl, as well as legal prescription painkillers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and morphine.

He said there was little evidence that tougher sentencing reduced the availability of street drugs.

"We call it the crisis next door because everyone knows someone", said Kellyanne Conway, a Trump senior adviser.

President Trump is calling for a lift on that limit, among other measures. "These were great kids who had jobs and would have benefited their communities." she said.

Some in the state were offended a year ago when Trump described the state as a "drug-infested den".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.